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Tips for Recognizing When Your Furnace Needs Service

 Furnace Needs

Just as your car shows signs of needing repair before breaking down, your furnace displays signs as well, including things like odd sounds or smells. Still, many people either aren’t aware of what to look and listen for, or they simply ignore the possible signs until the furnace stops working altogether. Addressing certain problems quickly can save you the hassle of having to completely replace your system, which can cost a fortune.

The last thing you need on a chilly Seattle night is your furnace to go out, forcing you to make the dreaded emergency service call in the middle of the night. Here are some tips for recognizing when you should schedule a service call so you can avoid a bigger issue later.

Consider the Age of Your Furnace

Most experts agree the average furnace lifespan is 15 to 18 years. If your furnace falls into that age range, you should consider having it inspected. It may not need to be replaced yet, but having it looked at by a professional will at least help you identify any potential issues you may eventually face so you can stay ahead of the curve.

High Energy Bills

Keep an eye on your utility bill. If it seems like your bill is suddenly more expensive than it was during the same time last year, it may be a sign that your furnace is running less efficiently, which indicates it’s time for a service call. It may be something as simple as a clogged filter, but it’s best to have a professional have a look to correctly identify the problem.

It’s Been More Than a Year Since Your Last Service Call

It’s recommended your furnace is routinely serviced at least once per year. If it’s been more than one year, it would be a good idea to have a reputable HVAC technician take a look under the hood, so to speak. Even if there doesn’t appear to be an issue on the surface, a routine service inspection can help identify potential issues before they become larger issues.

You Hear Odd Sounds

If you hear consistent thumps, pops and scrapes coming from your furnace, it’s probably time to call an HVAC technician. It could be as simple as a loose internal component, or it could be something more serious. Either way, getting the issue resolved quickly could ensure the problem doesn’t worsen to the point where replacement is a more affordable option than repair.

The Unit Is Blowing Weakly or Blowing Cold Air

This may seem obvious, but if your furnace is blowing out cold air or having trouble blowing air at all, it’s a sign that the unit needs servicing. There could be a variety of issues at play here – including an issue with the pilot light or thermocouple – but no matter the cause, you should avoid waiting too long to have your furnace serviced.

More Frequent Cycling

Your furnace works by sensing the room temperature and adjusting the temperature according to the desired temperature on the thermostat. This is called a cycle. If your furnace seems to be cycling too frequently, it’s likely overworking itself, which could lead to higher energy bills, overheating and needing to more frequently replace internal parts.

Issues with the Thermostat

Have you set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature, yet it doesn’t seem to get comfortable and you seem to have to set the thermostat higher and higher to achieve your desired level of comfort? This is a sign your unit may have some electrical issues, such as a blown fuse or loose wiring that needs attention soon.

Your Furnace is Leaking Fluid

Fluids leaking from your furnace should be a major concern. If you smell gas near the furnace or notice a yellow-colored pilot light, you should call an HVAC professional immediately. This may indicate a dangerous gas leak. Water pooling around the furnace is also a bad sign. A trained HVAC pro will likely check for clogged condensate lines, which can impede your furnace’s effectiveness.

Don’t Wait Until Your Furnace is On the Fritz

The most important thing to remember when it comes to furnace repairs and maintenance is that having your unit routinely serviced extends the lifespan of your system and addresses potential issues before they become an emergency call. South West Plumbing has been providing the Seattle area with trustworthy and professional HVAC services for years. Do yourself a favor and have a South West expert HVAC technician look at your furnace before it’s too late. Call (206) 932-1777 or visit us online today to schedule maintenance or service.

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